Prodigious Acknowledgment…………#149 (the 70’s)


.  It wasn’t surprising as life is full of surprises, a wedding announcement.   Gary’s ex-wife Kaye’s father,  Kermit Van Leuven , who thru the years had never acknowledged his presence until eleven years ago, making a decision to renew his acquaintances with Kaye’s mother Helen in Oklahoma City.  Helen,  having initiated a meeting between Kermit and Kaye years earlier in Long Beach after the birth of  grandson Scott, a meeting arranged during a family vacation to Gary’s parents’ home in California.   Kermit’s wife of 47 years Violet, having passed away in Long Beach, Kermit having retired as an attorney and head clerk of the Los Angeles County Superior  Court.  It wasn’t long after his Oklahoma arrival nuptials were proclaimed, and Kermit and Helen Pirie Street were united in matrimony,  39 years after the birth of their daughter,  Gary privileged to attend the Oklahoma City courthouse ceremony.

.  On occasion Gary was called upon to provide transportation for his daughter Marlo’s dance class attendance,  when her mother was unavailable.   He was very much aware of an upcoming dance studio event, the dance studio students would be performing a full dress rehearsal at the Civic Music Hall for an upcoming recital.  Gary aware he couldn’t make the recital date, but could attend the full dress rehearsal.  The afternoon found Gary’s and Jan joining the many relatives of the participants in attendance. When the curtain was drawn for the opening act the background adorning the stage was simplistic but commanding, as was the stage presentation for each class.  The music addressing their choreographic was most impressive, the musician expecting a continuous flow of Swan Lake or similar classic instances, but was delightfully surprised at the inventiveness of the dance instructors selections.  The theme music chosen for Marlo’s class was very inventive, and the audience as well as Gary was literally knocked over when a dance routine was presented to the theme from the television series,  The Rockford Files.  Gary, noticing his ex-wife seated up front, stage right,  deciding  not to acquaint the viability of  his presence,  but savoring this visual event and his daughters capacious performance.

.  The evening was about to be enhanced, Gary and Jan entering the auditorium at U S Grant  High School, at Southwest 50th and South Pennsylvania Avenue,  the couple attending a capacity filled presentation of the high school stage-band.   The encountered group of student musicians were the corps d’elite of the high school band class,  the assembly presenting a program of songs featuring the big band sound from an earlier era.   The meritorious conclave of musicians that made up the Stage-Band were all junior and seniors,  but an exception having been made, discovering two freshman,  a procurer of the trombones,  Scott Willson, Gary’s eldest son one of the two.  Seemingly, it was apparent that Scott was an inheritor of music ability,  but that could be questionable, the father apprehensive of his son’s ability was one of prodigious acknowledgement and  recognition, but he was more of a listener than a creator,  and within,  Gary held an abjuration and hope that his son would not proceed in a like profession.    The stage band’s performance was provoking,  the talent on stage instilling an aura of a bygone time, the youthfulness of the musicians giving hope to those in the audience for a better generation of application, and a proud father witnessing a talented son.

.  It had been twenty year since he initiated this, telling himself the paper route wouldn’t be arduous.  Gary having volunteered for this short termed endeavor, his responsibility for a three day weekend,  substituting for his son Scott on his morning paper route.  He found himself reminiscing his junior high years delivering for the Oakland Tribune,  his route being in the afternoon,  an aberration from this morning delivery circumstance.  Scott giving hiss dad a list of customer addresses and paper placement instructions to adhered to,  but soon found difficulty in reading the customer’s home address in cimmerian shade of darkness in the dawning morning hour.  Scott’s route enduring southwest 45th to 47th street between south agnew and south Youngs,  a scant distance from the youth’s  home.  Jan offering to be a willing assistant, but after an initial experience,  Gary deciding it would be best to go it alone.  Scott,  returning to his appointed  paper dispensing  task,  the father gratefully alleviated from this capacity,  a willing subject,  but in the future he might have second thoughts, recalling the words of his Oakland Tribune’s District Manager, Scotty, “Paper delivery is not about service, it’s about customer satisfaction”,  and like the dawning of a new day the same can be said about music.




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